Solar Lighting for Remote Rural Communities

EPA Grant Number: SU833538
Title: Solar Lighting for Remote Rural Communities
Investigators: Cumberbatch, Toby , Anipa, David , Batiir, Blandina , Galaa, Sylvester , Gyimah, Charles
Current Investigators: Cumberbatch, Toby , Anipa, David , Batiir, Blandina , Berger, David , Foley, Sara , Galaa, Sylvester , Gazes, Michael , Grun, Ari , Ho, Allan , Hogan, Ryan , Hsieh, Yann , Jacobs, Ian , Panda, Anurag , Stevenson, James , Wong, Nicholas
Institution: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art , Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) , University of Developmental Studies (UDS)
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 31, 2007 through July 31, 2008
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


A team of students and faculty from The Cooper Union, KNUST, and UDS is developing a rechargeable lantern usable for general lighting, reading and writing, and as a flashlight to be fabricated and used, with minimal environmental impact, in remote communities worldwide. The lantern must be extremely robust, easily repairable, inexpensive, and use indigenous materials. Direct consultation with communities in Northern Ghana for whom the lantern is initially intended is integral to the design process. The solution must make available the fabrication, installation and maintenance of the complete system to these communities. To this end, we will consult with: local agricultural banks for micro financing and local workshops and organizations for fabrication, assembly, installation and maintenance. In the fall 2006 semester class of 24 Cooper Union freshmen designed and built the first prototype lanterns, some continued during the spring 2007 semester in independent study programs. The PI, two students, and the Ghanaian team members installed one prototype system in Ghana during summer 2007. This is being used to gather extensive data, for both the technological and sociological operation of the system, to provide input to refine the design of the lanterns and charging system. With this award the requisite number of components for four to six systems will be assembled for delivery to Ghana during Summer 2008. This project is part of an investigation that is partially supported by a grant from the NSF.

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Engineering, Sustainable Environment, Technology, alternative energy source, carbon dioxide, clean energy, clean technologies, environmentally conscious design, green design, kerosene alternative, pollution prevention, community based,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, sustainable development, drinking water, ecological design, environmental sustainability, heat exchanger, energy efficiency, solar energy, water treatment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report